A Disconcerting Webcam Shaped Like a Human Eye

Interaction designer and researcher Marc Teyssier (previously) of the Resilient Futures group at the De Vinci Innovation Center in Courbevoie, France has designed the “Eyecam”, a truly disconcerting, uncanny webcam in the shape of a human eye. This includes all of the physical attributes including a working lid, eyelashes, and an arched eyebrow. The eye also moves in a natural anthropomorphic manner – blinking, rolling, winking, etc., as if it were an extension of the human using it.

What if seeing devices looked like us? Eyecam is a prototype exploring the potential future design of sensing devices. Eyecam is a webcam shaped like a human eye that can see, blink, look around and observe us.

Teyssier states that he created this camera in order to address the larger issue of hidden surveillance.

The purpose of this project is to speculate on the past, present and future of technology. We are surrounded by sensing devices. From surveillance camera observing us in the street, Google or Alexa speakers listen to us or webcam in our laptop, constantly looking at us. They are becoming invisible, blending into our daily lives, up to a point where we are unaware of their presence and stop questioning how they look, sense, and act.

The “Eyecam” prototype is an open source project.

The design of Eyecam result of a long iterative process. The main technical challenge was to pack the motors and electronics as tightly as possible to maintain the eye proportions. I believe that this mechanism can benefit others. It should be reproduced and reappropriated by researchers, designers, or makers who wish to experience it, explore it, and extend to create provoking, novel or uncanny sensing device.

Hardware Eyecam

via Nerdist

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.